It’s a big day here at Ginkgo. We’re announcing our first product in partnership with New England Biolabs — a BioBrick™ Assembly Kit designed to make part assembly a snap.
For those of you who aren’t already familiar with BioBrick parts, they are essentially just DNA fragments that encode basic biological functions like promoters, terminators, coding sequences, ribosome binding sites and more. What makes these genetic fragments special is that they all adhere to the first BioBrick assembly standard–a cloning standard designed to make assembly of multi-part systems much simpler and faster. It’s simpler because you use the exact same process to assemble any two BioBrick parts. No more searching for unique restriction sites that happen to be located in a convenient place. No more looking up whether those two restriction enzymes will work in the same buffer conditions. It’s faster because instead of assembling your system one part at a time, BioBrick assembly lets you assemble your system hierarchically … in log(N) steps instead of N steps. And as an added bonus, the Registry of Standard Biological Parts maintains a collection of over 3000 BioBrick parts that academic labs and iGEM teams can use and reuse to build systems.
The BioBrick standard isn’t new. Ginkgo founder and MIT Senior Research Scientist Tom Knight invented the standard back in 2003 to make synthetic biology easier. Since then, the standard has been adopted by researchers around the world. Even undergraduates with little prior lab experience use it when they participate in the annual iGEM competition.
Over the past 6 years we’ve learned a lot about how to (and how not to) assemble BioBrick parts. Now, we’ve tried to put all that experience in one place with the BioBrick Assembly Kit and manual. It’s specially designed for those folks who might be new to synthetic biology and BioBrick part assembly. We’re especially excited to be releasing this product in partnership with NEB – a company with deep roots in the recombinant DNA technology that paved the way for synthetic biology. Please search for the BioBrick offerings on NEB’s website and give them a try. We’re always looking to make biological engineering even easier, so please let us know how it works for you.
BioBrick™ is a trademark of The BioBricks Foundation.
P.S. A special shout-out goes to Mac Cowell and Lauren McCarthy from DIYbio.org for help with the graphics and photos for the BioBrick Assembly Manual.